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Bapcor's ex-Hellaby auto unit still exceeding expectations

Bapcor's ex-Hellaby auto unit still exceeding expectations

By Paul McBeth

Feb. 20 (BusinessDesk) - ASX-listed Bapcor is still being pleasantly surprised by the former Hellaby Holdings automotive unit, which delivered a 29 percent increase in first-half earnings.

Bapcor New Zealand posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of A$15.6 million in the six months ended Dec. 31 on revenue of A$148.2 million, accounting for about 22 percent of group earnings and 24 percent of sales. Within that, the NZ trade unit increased revenue 7.2 percent to $96 million and ebitda 32 percent to $11.4 million, while the Australian wholesale division sitting under Bapcor NZ's umbrella increased sales 7.2 percent to A$60.1 million and ebitda 18 percent to A$6.1 million.

"Bapcor New Zealand performed very strongly in the half year and, in New Zealand dollar terms, recorded revenue growth of 8.4 percent and ebitda growth of 28.5 percent, compared to Hellaby's reported result for H1 FY17 excluding Hellaby corporate head office costs," chief executive Darryl Abotomey said in a statement. "Bapcor New Zealand's largest business, the BNT trade business, achieved same-store sales growth of 8.5 percent reflecting the success of organisation changes, range expansion and market growth."

The Victoria-based company bought and delisted Hellaby for $352 million in 2016 to acquire the auto division in a market where cheap petrol and an expanding population has underpinned record new car registrations.

Bapcor said the New Zealand acquisition "continues to exceed business case expectations" and that the integration of the unit was on track.

The Hellaby acquisition came with unwanted footwear and resource services businesses, which Bapcor is in the process of selling. The auto parts firm today said it's on track to reap $92 million from the exit.

Bapcor's group profit rose 60 percent to A$40.4 million on a 42 percent gain in revenue to A$616.1 million. The board declared an interim dividend of 7 Australian cents per share.

The ASX-listed stock fell 1.5 percent to A$5.585 and has increased 0.4 percent so far this year.


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